Water Quality for Reopening Buildings

Water Quality Considerations for Reopening Buildings After Closures

As a building owner and operator, you are responsible for the water quality in your building and should understand what could happen when water is left stagnant. The longer the building has low water use, the higher the risk for water quality issues. During COVID-19, reduced or no water use in buildings may present health risks. It is critical that you understand precautions needed for reopening your building and maintaining a safe water supply.

Water quality concerns from low or no water use in buildings

When water in buildings is not used, the disinfectant, like chlorine, used to treat the water is depleted and may result in growth of microorganisms in pipes and fixtures. Disinfectant is used to treat water and maintain potable water in distributions systems. Water left in pipes and fixtures may also absorb toxic metals such as lead from plumbing.

Reopening considerations

Prepare a plan to restore water quality and consider hiring experts. Communication should be provided to all building occupants explaining measures being taken to restore water quality.

Before opening your building, review the resources below, and check with your local municipality for any additional requirements.

Does Municipal Water Treatment Kill the Virus?

Health Canada’s Guidelines for Drinking Water Quality has more details on how water treatment keeps us safe from viruses.